Reggie talks further about lack of save management on Switch, need to avoid piracy / modding / hacking - Nintendo Everything

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Reggie talks further about lack of save management on Switch, need to avoid piracy / modding / hacking

Posted on June 17, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch

Mashable was able to speak with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime at this year’s E3. At the show, Reggie was pressed further about the lack of save management on Switch. One of the things brought up is how it’s crucial Nintendo avoids piracy on the system as well as modding and hacking.

Read up on what Reggie had to say below. You can find Mashable’s original piece here as well.

On whether the lack of file management on Switch is due to piracy concerns…

Our focus in launching Nintendo Switch was to make it a stellar game-playing device. In driving that focus there were elements that we knew needed to come later. Like Nintendo Switch Online. Like other services — the Netflix and Amazon Primes of the world. With that as background, we are keenly aware of all of the things that consumers are asking for.

For us, it really is about thinking through how to do this in a way that makes good business sense but also is something that the consumer is really going to be excited about. We’re aware of requests around cloud saves or file management, we’re certainly aware of all the requests for legacy content, we’re aware of consumers asking for ways to have multiple devices linked to one particular account, we’re aware of all of those. What we’re trying to do is deliver positive steps on all of these areas but in a way that is prioritized and makes sense for us.

On concerns about Switch breaking and losing progress in Zelda…

It is well understood. For a person who has 100 shrines, I understand the concern about losing all your data. For us it’s all about, OK, how can we do this in a way that makes sense for the consumer, that makes sense for us, that’s what we’re working for.

On whether it’s a question of how functionally it’s going to work…

It’s everything from not only how is it going to work but it’s also how we do this in a way that doesn’t lend itself to piracy or systems or our core software infrastructure that can be modded or hacked. Those are all of the things that we need to think about from a business standpoint.

On whether it’s a matter of safeguarding around these features…

We need to create them, we need to safeguard them, we need to deliver them to the consumer the way that makes sense.

On where save file management and the Virtual Console fit on the list of priorities…

Certainly the virtual console aspect is going to be part of what we do in terms of making some legacy content available with the Nintendo Switch Online. In terms of the file management, all I can say is stay tuned.

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  • John Doe

    “We know you want Netflix, VC, Smash Bros, etc. We just don’t care”

    • GoddyPango

      Smash Bros. is coming eventually, no need to worry. Be patient.

      • Burning Gravity

        not even worth answering to these people, as you can see, they will interpret things as they want, regardless of the truth. even though they’re working on everything, and it’s just a matter of taking the time to make sure it’s all done right (so that we don’t complain later that it has glitches, is lacking important features, etc.), ppl think it’s a matter of “we aren’t heard” or “they don’t care” >_>

        • FutureFox

          Its even funnier when people think Nintendo “heard” them and its just as likely they’ve had plans well ahead of time and are focused on implementation and/or further strategic analysis.

          And even funnier still, are those people don’t consider that they might want Nintendo to hear them on that differs from other fans who are just as vocal.

    • Eric Woodley

      Really? That last paragraph seems to indicate that VC is in the works. Streaming services make about as much sense on the switch as they do on the 3DS, which is very little.

      • Nintendo South Wales

        I’d argue your comment makes less sense.

        People stream movies, tv shows on their phones and tablets, not much different to streaming them on their Switch in TV or in Portable mode.

        Be nice to have the option.

        • Evan Gustavson

          Portable mode requires Wi-Fi.
          Might as well stream it on your iPad directly instead of running the internet through its Wi-Fi hotspot to your Seitch

      • Hidden Flare

        I’d like to give netflex a shoot and switch would make it awesome for me. What does that tell ya?

      • Colocho_gt

        The switch connects to the TV, it’s perfect for streaming services.

    • Vive

      Netflix – they said no at launch because they wanted to send the message that this is primarily a gaming device very fast and easy to use: no need to wait hours for massive updates. It will come in the near future for sure.

      VC – the same, although here they haven’t figured it out yet what contents to bring first, how to integrate it on the eshop,…

      Smash Bros -> honestly is there the need for this now? We have ARMS, Splatoon 2 coming next month, Pokkén Tournament in september, Rocket League, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe…. Smash is a great franchise but they have plenty of multiplayer games for 2017.

  • Adrián Alucard

    Produce game cards that can save, just like the 3DS ones

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    • Actually they can, Switch game cards do have writable memory on them. However there are 2 problems with this.

      1. The Switch uses multiple user accounts and the savegames are tied to a user.
      2. You can also purchase a game in the eShop in which case the save data won’t be on the cartridge.

      • Adrián Alucard

        1. Don’t tie saves to users

        2. At least allow cards to save (just like the 3DS, if you have the game-card save there, if it’s digital save on the memory console or the SD)

      • Nathan Brooks

        PSP was doing this a decade ago.
        Save data is separate from the game “disk” and was easily transferable.
        Even digital games did nothing to complicate the way it was done.

        • they don’t want save data to be transferable
          that’s how wii got hacked

      • Fredy Rodriguez Ortega

        Switch game cards are read only memory

  • Vigilante_blade

    Modding makes systems better. Just allow modding in a controlled infrastructure.

    • Rakim

      No they should allow modding it’s just stupid play the games the way it was made only nintendo should make changes or add things to their games no one eles.

      • Vigilante_blade


      • Ryan Hart

        Punctuation, please? I read it like this: “No. They should allow modding. It’s just stupid play.”

      • Mewshuji

        Modding is only ever a bad thing if the game company is unable to provide good content in the first place, and in which case, it’s only a bad thing for the company in question. We all know Nintendo gives great content, but adding extra replayability through allowing games to be modded just makes the deal sweeter for fans who want to make their favorite games even better, and for customers who want to mix things up.

        Obviously for some games that exist primarily as competitive games, like Splatoon, ARMS and Pokken, mods that aren’t simple graphics changers don’t work well. So simply don’t include mod support for those games. But I don’t see any harm in giving an option to, say, mod in offline-or-friends-only-mode-only characters to Smash or add extra quests in Breath of the Wild– *especially* given the total lack of a trophy or achievement system.

        And if you don’t want to use mods? Don’t. No one’s forcing you.

        Of course this is all hypothetical.

    • Burning Gravity

      sigh. as usual, you’re the worst.

      • Vigilante_blade

        How so?

      • MajoraMan28

        Yes, he says silly stuff all the time, but you sure seem like his edgy counterpart. Stop burning people for free in these discussions.
        Downvoting his comment is much more noble than badmouthing him

        • Vigilante_blade

          I actually think I’m quite reasonable, but I think we can agree that it doesn’t have to devolve to that.

          • Hidden Flare

            I think you can be reasonable but, I believe like you said before, you are very passionate with you opinion. Like you do go on about it often and don’t seem to be one to change your mind. No offense.

          • Vigilante_blade

            I feel that I change my mind a lot actually. I used to be a gigantic Nintendo fanboy. I’d even mock Sony and Microsoft fans when I was a kid, calling them various names. I’ve grown out of that and have actually owned a PS3, a PSP and a Vita. I’ve even bought a gaming PC.

            I have some strong opinions, but I feel like they are well-thought out. I just sometimes feel that some people on Nintendo Everything see ill intent in my opinions, as if me not liking something about Nintendo somehow makes me antagonistic. I like debating, and besides, I often find it strange how certain users will take offense to me disagreeing with them. I perosnally like to separate a person’s worth to his or her views.

          • Hidden Flare

            When you put it that way I see you sound fair. Though I still question some things like I still think some early fire emblem fans, like those who play the other games, are unfair but lets save that argument for a fire emblem post. Still I can see you have your own opinion on things and there isn’t too much bad stuff there.

          • Fore

            So here’s something for you being both modding and whether or not petitions work related:

            I’d say to keep an eye on that one.

          • Eagle367

            Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. You can be pretty stubborn.;-)

          • Vigilante_blade

            So can many others here. And I think I am still quite reasonable.

          • Eagle367

            Yosh yosh

    • Izaal Daar


    • So let consumers pirate games and have company lose money okay great idea

      • Vigilante_blade

        THis is why I said “controlled environment”.

        • piracy is not a controlled environment.

          • Mewshuji

            Good thing he didn’t say anything about piracy. Allowing people to mod games =/= allowing piracy. Do you think Bethesda or Creative Assembly want people to pirate their games? No. But they let people, even encourage people, to mod their games.

          • Yes that them not Nintendo. Nintendo doesn’t want you to mod, pirate or hack their system.

          • Vigilante_blade

            Who cares what Nintendo wants? You’re a consummer. You should care about what YOU want.

          • I respect the company product.

          • Vigilante_blade

            You are somehow falsely assuming we don’t.

          • Clearly you dont since you want it to be hack

          • Vigilante_blade

            Never make false attributions. I respect he art of making games and I consider modding to be a demonstration of love. I modded Brawl because of my love for Melee. People make alternate level packs for Mario games because they love the base game.

            Besides, creator intent is meaningless. Your experience as a consumer is far more important that a creative’s fragile ego.

          • Evan Gustavson

            You think it’s an art, but, you modded brawl to be more like melee. That’s not love, thats neglect.
            You like melee?
            Work on improving melee to make it better.
            Or make a brand new game inspired by melee.
            Don’t make Brawl into something it’s not just because you dont like it for what it is.
            That’s not what love is.
            When a parent thinks “why can’t you be more like your older brother”
            That’s not love, that’s neglect.
            And, if you acknowledge it as art, even if it’s identity as a product is a higher priority, you buy a famous painting, you’re legally allowed to do whatever you want with it, but if you lay a drop of paint on it, people will view it as vandalism.
            If you make copies of it add your own personal flare, people will view it as a knockoff.
            The only proper way to pay homage to a work of art is to make your own original work in its style. Tampering with it is taboo, as is doing it in your own way.
            And since whether or not something is respectful is a social construct, it matters not whether you yourself view what you have done as respectful, what matters is what others perceive it as.
            Vandalizing a work of art is the ultimate form of disrespect towards it. What message you meant by it, how you meant it to come across, is irrelevant, because as you just said, creator intent is meaningless.

          • Vigilante_blade

            Bwahahaha! HA HA HA!

            Evan, this is one of the most ridiculously foolish things I have ever read. I have tears in my eyes with how much I’ve been laughing.

            Games are products before they are art. Nevertheless, modding is no different from game design. It is an art just the same. Just as how game designers build on the shoulders of giants, so do modders.

            Vandalism? Really? Because as far as I know, you can still play Brawl. We didn’t vandalize squat. What we did was create a new experience by using Brawl’s engine as a base. That is all.

            Again, Project M is a work of respect towards Melee, not one of disrespect towards Brawl. We made this game because we loved Melee. You are just a salty, beligerant child because we happen to simply prefer Melee over Brawl. It pisses you to your very core that we enjoy Melee. The very thought of us having fun, liking something you like a lot less than us does not register with you.

            I love Melee. Project M is an hommage to Melee. The idea of doign this out of spite to Sakurai and others has never even crossed my mind. I’ve make Project M because I wanted to give something to a community that has given much to me. I helped make Project M because I really love Melee. I wouldn’t have gone through years of trouble just for a silly vengeance. Don’t act like a fool.

          • Fore

            Respecting a company product is one thing, wanting it to be better or to see it expanded is another. Creative Assembly is an example in this, taking their game Total War: WARHAMMER as example, their community has made incredible mods, right up to changing units and making factions playable in such a way that they may as well be DLC in and of themselves. If the original creators do not intend to make such content, then why bar the modders from doing so?

            All such things do, is keep interest alive in the game and it’s franchise, which helps when DLC and sequels roll around.

          • Meow Mere

            Give people an inch, they’ll pirate the extra mile that was supposed to be DLC

          • Vigilante_blade

            The slippery slope fallacy, huh?

          • Vigilante_blade

            Modding =/- piracy.

    • Mewshuji

      I think the problem is that Nintendo, being as behind the times as it is with some aspects of the game industry, has a bit of trouble separating modding games from modding hardware. It’s not that hard at all to enable modding games or system menus without enabling the ability to outright play pirated products. Maybe for the console after Switch we’ll see something. But for now I’d just hope we get a way to actually back up our saves and transfer our save data both digitally and physically.

      • Jack Red

        I think one of the main things people needs to do is prove to Nintendo that modding the games won’t cause any trouble for them in the long run. And probably the best way that I can think of doing that would be either A; A representative of the modding community heads to Nintendo of Japan’s headquaters and try to explain it to the heads of the company how modding would benefit Nintendo in the long run. Or B; Let the Switch go through four years of it’s lifecycle without anyone hacking it for homebrew or piracy, and hope that Nintendo decides to allow modding.

      • Velen (Not WoW)

        Part of the problem with modding is that most of the time it requires an exploit in the system to put it into the hardware’s data, at least for console. Which means you’re basically modifying the hardware on a software level. That’s the thing Nintendo doesn’t like.

        It’s different from the act of buying and downloading games on the eShop cause you’re using a sanctioned service and then having the data for what you buy be written to the system’s memory. Modding however requires modifications on the software that come from something external to the system and Nintendo. Hence their desire to stamp it out.

        I however would like modding to be a thing on Nintendo games.

    • Modding is BAD, especially in multiplayer / online games. Like Pokémon, Smash Bros, Splatoon, etc. It will ruin the fun for the people that just want to play the original game and it might give you an unfair advantage.

      • Vigilante_blade

        A controlled environment could prevent mods form going online.

    • It doesn’t, really. It just adds emulators.
      Do mods on your PC. That has emulators, too.

      • Jacob Briggs

        XBMC is without a doubt the greatest mod of all time. It is now the defacto standard media player, under the name of Kodi.

        The switch hardware has a tengra which means it can hardware decide HEVC and 10bit.

        If someone modded to run Kodi, hardware sales would go through the roof.

    • Kamiyouni

      That’s debatable.

  • Operative

    If they’re gonna stick with SD cards, might as well accept that your console is moddable/pirateable. I suppose their goal is to delay that inevitability for as long as possible though. I hope they can figure out cloud saves, especially if they’re asking for money for the online services

    • Firehawke

      Not using SD didn’t stop Vita hacking. It’s inevitable, but they’re definitely determined to stave it off as long as possible.

    • You can already use MicroSD cards with the Switch. (However the data on them is encrypted for your system, so transferring savegames to the SD card would be useless)

  • DonSerrot

    Just implement cloud saves. The saves are already tied to our accounts on a system level so it shouldn’t be that hard to know who’s save goes where. As long as they don’t put that save data in a place where the user can mess with it there’s no risk of it being used for piracy or modding. Simple.

    • Eric Woodley

      Maybe that’s part of the delay for Nintendo Online.

      • DonSerrot

        I’m really hoping it’s part of the online service to be honest. It’d add even more value to an already good package for the price they are asking.

        I mean, it’d certainly be better if cloud backups were just free for everyone, but I’d fully understand it if they wanted to tie it to the subscription service instead.

        • Eric Woodley

          I actually see them offering them for free. It’s a matter of getting the infrastructure in place to do it. Might as well build it out along with the online services

        • SyCoREAPER

          I don’t think it should cost to save but I’ll end up paying $20 a year if that’s what it takes.

    • Exy

      With all the news about assumed hardened services getting hacked on a global scale, they’re more cautious than ever about this kind of thing. And they should be, because 3DS piracy is trival now and they intend to keep supporting it regardless.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    If we are listening to fans ? Sure, yes.
    But no !

  • Kenshin0011

    I’m tired of these BS answers from Reggie, but I suppose he has no choice because he has no control over this stuff.

    But really, it’s all BS.

    “For us it’s all about, OK, how can we do this in a way that makes sense for the consumer, that makes sense for us, that’s what we’re working for.”

    What the heck does this even mean? What is not making sense to you, Reggie? You have a tablet gaming device in 2017 that cannot backup save data. It cannot operate practical voice chat, it still does not have a media apps.

    As much as I hate this phrase, Nintendo really perceives themselves as special “snowflakes” when it comes to this stuff. Everyone else in the tech industry, from cheap phones, tablets, TVs, etc., operate modernly. Nintendo Switch shouldn’t be any different, and there is no reasonable reason to be lacking in these areas.

    • Khaaaaan!!!

      Hey! Do you want join my server in discord?

      • Kenshin0011

        I don’t use discord much, maybe someday though!

        • Khaaaaan!!!

          Alright 🙂 and I’m agree with you even cheap phones have the basics stuffs why not Nintendo. Yep….

    • Mewshuji

      Nintendo really does seem disconnected from the rest of the industry at large. While they’re great at some things (the hardware itself and their games) other things (like voice chat via phone???, and waiting on cloud saves, etc.) kind of indicate they’re not looking to compete but to go their own way. Which they really oughtn’t do if they want to replicate the success of the Wii. Appealing to casual customers back in 2006 was a lot easier than it is now, when what was for “hardcore” gamers then is considered just a basic function now.

  • Trust no one indeed

    In order for all this to work for everyone, Nintendo needs to stop being too strict on piracy and start focusing on preventing piracy (e.g. taking down distribution of ROMs,). There has NEVER been any proof that current piracy has really damaged the company anyway. Trying to be perfect will only make it worse.
    There HAS however been proof that company behavior like that, especially with an internet required DRM, has caused many people to not get what Nintendo is selling.

    The only other way (but only for Nintendo) is for something that many people like myself would hate: Always On DRM. That means you won’t be able to have any sense of ownership and will never be able to truly own anything you buy.
    To be even more terrible (as if it can get any worse) it also means that you have to constantly download stuff when using something so you don’t really have the data.
    That’s the only (but not all the way perfect (scripts and ways can be around still)) way to prevent piracy sort of.

    But whatever Nintendo is trying to do, I hope it’s not what I feared.

    • Nintendo has never had an “Internet Required DRM”. You can play any Nintendo game or system offline.

      • Trust no one indeed

        You know why the phone games (Mario and Fire Emblem) had always on DRM? Because of the fear of piracy I think. So when I saw this article, I was kinda scared about the future.

        • Phones are not controlled by Nintendo and we know Android is really easy to hack, so wanting to protect their property they’ve added an online check.

  • Airsh Bornely

    I applaud him for fighting against piracy as it would be terrible if the Switch was already fully hacked. (At least the Wii U lasted until about a year ago)

  • Kaine Morrison

    So… does this NOT bode well for the Special Edition of Skyrim on Switch?

  • The hackers really boned you guys

  • FinalDodo

    Once again it sounds like Nintendo has focused on the wrong way to combat piracy. Look. It’s going to happen. There’s too much time and too many talented people in the world for it NOT to happen. Focus on developing a unified account system. If people don’t want to play nicely in your space, kick them out.

  • Fore

    So let me pitch in here: Modding is something that can stretch a games
    longevity faaaaaaaaaaaaaaar past it’s actual “I’m bored, time for the
    next” date. You know Mobas? You know League of Legends/Dota etc? That
    started off as a mod in Starcraft 2, went over to Warcraft 3, blew up and looky here, we’ve got a ton of games in that genre now.

    Skyrim is another example of a game that has benefited from modding IMMENSELY. Being able to change things up keeps people playing, keeps them interested and will have them be around to buy DLC, instead of hardly remembering the game in the first place.

    TL:DR: If done right, it can be MASSIVE boon to any game.